Monday, September 29, 2014

The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling 2014

Hi, Knitters,
It's time to get back at this blog writing thing with gusto. I want to start by mentioning two longtime friends of mine. I have kept in touch with both of these women for years and have worked with both off and on for years in the knitting industry.  And both of my friends have started new businesses which I think will be enormous hits.

First is Merri Fromm who is a talented knitter, writer, designer, tech editor and graphic design artist. Merri has left her office job recently and is starting a new design brand and website called Tangletown Knits. This is a new venture but she already has a few adorable designs up and available for purchase. Merri is a good one to follow and I can't wait to see what she continues to come up with over the months to come.

Secondly, my buddy Tanis Gray, who you might know as a Vogue Knitting magazine editor, Knitting Daily TV show contributor, fantastic knitting teacher, talented knitwear designer (she has so many books and magazine covers and designs), sewer, and all-around good person, has just opened one of the sweetest Etsy shops around selling her sewn project bags. I will be ordering again and again from her shop because these are my most favorite type of project bags. They are soft, roomy and they have the fabric drawstrings for closure which is such a great added feature. You will want to check out Tanis' Etsy shop and stock up for yourself and for your knitting friends! The bags are the perfect gift price point. 

I better get my order in before you all jump over there and sell her out. Everything Tanis does is top-notch perfection and I can say that with complete confidence. The other thing is that for someone who worked at Martha Stewart and Vogue Knitting and is currently working for several yarn companies in various roles, Tanis is the most honest, down-to-earth soul around. She has had and continues to have great successes and she is humble, generous and kind and really fun and funny. You would all just love her in person. She is one of the hardest working talents in our industry.

Click here for TanisKnits website! She has a fantastic blog, too.

Now on to today's topic at hand....

I have been traveling to teach over the past couple of weeks and I'd like to share a bit about these events with you.  

First in terms of events, about two weeks ago I went to Fort Collins, Colorado to teach at The Loopy Ewe's Fall Fling. The event is now alternating between a Fall Fling and a Spring Fling which I think is a genius idea. Sheri Berger, the owner and host of the event, is one of the most organized people around. She has every detail planned out and the event runs like clockwork. 

Click here for The Loopy Ewe website. (Get on their newsletter list to keep up with the ever-changing and exciting yarn updates! I look forward to this email every time.)

The 150 or so attendees get to take classes. The teachers (see the photo above) were from left to right, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (she also spoke twice while in Colorado, once at the event and once before the event for the community of non-attendees), Ann Budd, me, and Marly Bird. It was a great group, with lots of fun and laughs included. 

I taught four workshops, two sessions of Little Dragon, and two sessions of Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts. Both topics went well. I especially enjoyed seeing how many students continued on with their Little Dragon knitting after the class. Many finished or almost finished the dragon project while at the retreat. That was fun to see.

I showed my classes that the Little Dragon can cover his eyes by tucking his nose under his arms so a lot of the photos have the dragons being bashful. It's very sweet.

Here are a few of the finished Little Dragons:

The following photos are of Marion Hooks Little Dragon. She messaged me to share her completed Little Dragon a couple of days ago. I thought her dragon has so much expression and personality that you might enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

photo by MarionHooks

photo by MarionHooks

Photo by MarionHooks

Sheri schedules trips to her shop, The Loopy Ewe, for all of the retreat attendees. The Loopy Ewe is fabulous. There are rows and rows of expertly cultivated yarns. Many staple yarns, including their own brand of sock yarn, and also many indie dyers that you don't often see in person. It is a treat to be at this calm, large and well-organized yarn shop. I just love it there. Plus, there is now an enormous well-stocked fabric section at the back.

The photo above is of the talented spinner/knitter/weaver/chain mail artist Lynn Zimmerman, the shop manager (I think this is right). She's standing in the first aisle of yarn at The Loopy Ewe and she's wearing a newly finished top that looks so good on her. I can't remember the name of the pattern..... okay, here I found it:

Stephanie brought the house down on the first night with her informative speech and super funny Q & A session! What a treat. She is such a talented and impressive speaker. I soaked in every minute.

This table of goodness is from my first Fair Isle Mitt workshop! Aren't they great?

This table is from my second session of the Fair Isle Mitts workshop! Later that night at the closing ceremony I saw a few finished mitts and the class was earlier that day. Pretty impressive!

Every year there is a group photo. What a talented and fun group of knitters. Do you see me there? I'm in the front row, sort of in the center off the to right a bit. Stephanie is two down to the right from me. 

I didn't get a huge amount of knitting done at the retreat but here is a little of what I accomplished. I started the sock on the left, String Theory sock yarn that I purchased at The Loopy Ewe the first day of the retreat. It is a dream to work with and I did a (slip1, knit1) repeat for 1 round every time the color changed. I have now finished this sock and started the second one. The sock on the right is the second sock in The Lemonade Shop yarn called Rainbow Stripes (I think she is taking custom orders now as the yarn is sold out, but check out the stitch markers!). I have now finished both Rainbow Stripes socks and have a new pair for the sock drawer.

Thank you to Sheri for organizing such a successful and well-run event! And thanks for having me back! I will come and teach for you anytime.

Okay, next I'll be back with a look at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat, which was a completely different experience. These two retreats, both wonderful, could not be any more different. That's what makes my job so much fun, every day is so different.

xo ~ susan
p.s. More sweater talk coming up, too!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Calligraphy: Favorite Sweater #4 ~ #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
I'm back today to continue on with my Top 10 Favorite Sweaters. I am on #4 on the list. I am blogging about the top 10 sweaters in no particular order. 

To see me wearing all of my Top 10 Favorites I made a 5 minute video. Click here to view!

Today's featured cardigan is called Calligraphy by Hannah Fettig. I started knitting this several years ago and it languished for awhile. I think the longer length and all of the stockinette started to get to me so I put it down. Then toward the end of 2012 I decided to pick it back up again only with a new game plan. 

I had made it down to just beneath the armholes and I just couldn't stand the thought of all of that back and forth stockinette stitch. I decided to knit the body in the round and add steek stitches to the front. This worked like a dream. I finished my Calligraphy up in no time at all from that point on. The steek worked beautifully and it made the knitting much more enjoyable for me.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in the Thunderstorm colorway
Buttons: From The Sow's Ear
Needles: US size 6 Signature Needle Arts, 32-inch circulars
Size: I can't remember if I made it in the first or second size. The sizing offered in the pattern is so generous: 34 to 60-inch chest measurement. Wow!

Here are some links for the materials I used for this cardigan:
Click here for Nina's in Chicago (The shop from where I purchased the yarn.)
Click here for The Sow's Ear in Verona, Wisconsin (The shop from where I purchased the buttons.)

When I first finished Calligraphy and began wearing it I really felt like it was too long for me. The length bothered me. I actually put it away for a bit and didn't wear it. Then I don't know what changed my mind but I pulled it out and started wearing it a lot. Suddenly the length didn't bother me at all and I started to enjoy the longer style of the cardigan. I began to take it with me to wear on my teaching venues. It became my travel sweater. Now I see the length as an asset and I wouldn't change a thing.

Here's a little proof:

Spring Fling 2012! Teacher photo from The Loopy Ewe blog. Left to right: Ann Budd, JC Briar, me in my Calligraphy!, Wendy Johnson

Paula's Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2012. Photo taken by Paula's husband.

Notice our cardigans in the above photo. Paula is wearing the Acer cardigan by Amy Christoffers.

While at the retreat Paula and I switched cardigans. I loved this. Now I want to knit the Acer Cardigan for myself, I actually own the pattern and have yarn that would work. And I think I heard Paula say she is going to knit a Calligraphy for herself. It was fun to try on the finished Acer because rarely do you get the chance to do that before knitting something. Plus, Paula and I are exactly the same size so I could really tell that I would love the Acer cardigan. 

Now, after I got home from the Knitting Pipeline Retreat that spring, I decided that the Calligraphy needed only one more thing to make it perfect. Pockets! I had extra yarn leftover and I kept thinking about pockets every time I wore it.

I actually made a tutorial on how I added the patch pockets to my Calligraphy so if you are interested:

The pockets are a good and generous size for the cardigan and I have enjoyed them so much. The Calligraphy is a good one to wear buttoned up or open. It is so comfortable. The Tosh DK is a delight to knit with and to wash. I have washed the Calligraphy a bunch of times and it always comes out perfectly. It is super wash wool. I have washed it by hand and then dried it laying flat. When it is still a little bit damp (almost dry) I throw it in the dryer and it pops right back into shape and it becomes so soft and comfy.

Calligraphy is knit seamlessly from the top-down and it is incredibly simple. It is the quintessential Hannah Fettig sweater, simple/stylish/wearable/practical/casual! She nails it every single time.

You start at the long ribbed collar. Knit the raglan yoke, increase for the sleeves, put the sleeves on holders, knit the body, pick up the sleeves and knit on down, pick up and knit the wide button bands. This would be an excellent beginner level cardigan for sure. Only be aware that it is a lot of knitting and ribbing, but I like both of these things.

Well, tomorrow I am off to Kennebunk, Maine to teach at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat! I can't wait. I have never been to Maine before and it should be fantastic. I will take lots of photos to share when I return.

By the way, Paula of the Knitting Pipeline has a new shawl design, Balsam Hollow, being released through Little Skein as a kit. I am super excited about it as the kit is inspired by Anne of Green Gables. More to come on this later but CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE to read about the new design by Paula for Little Skein. There is going to be an #annealong which sounds like it will be loads of fun.

Take care, Knitters. I'll see you back here soon!
xo ~ susan

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Come See Me!

Hi, Knitters,
Well, I have started my fall teaching line up and it is off with a bang! Last weekend I had the most wonderful time at The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling. That is such a well-run event, like clockwork. I had fantastic full classes, fun and talented students, and great teaching company.

Next, I am off to The Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat and I can't wait. I am teaching two workshops and then I will get to actually retreat right along with the other attendees. That is a dream come true. We are going to be in Kennebunk, ME. I'll take lots of photos to share.

Then right after Maine I will be flying east again to teach at WEBS! I'm so excited about this (see the above photo). If you are in the Massachusetts area, please consider popping into one of my workshops. I am teaching a Fair Isle Hat Workshop and Sock Yarn Toy Knitting! These are my two most popular workshops wherever I go so I am glad I get the chance to teach these at WEBS.

Sock Yarn Bunny!

Little Dragon!

Fair Isle Hat!

Click here to find out more about my visit to WEBS, America's Yarn Store!

Or call 1-800-FOR-WEBS to get more information.

I would love to see you at WEBS. Let me know if you are going to be there!

You can also see me online through Craftsy.  I don't push the Craftsy selling on my blog but this is a great deal for all of you! They are having a competition with the instructors to see who can sell the most classes while Craftsy has this fantastic sale going on.

I have two Craftsy classes of which I am very proud. Everywhere I travel to teach I have students talk to me about my Craftsy classes and that makes me feel so good. I have the Not So Itty-Bitty Giraffe class and the Wee Ones class. The links to both of these classes are always on my blog sidebar. I would love to see you over on Craftsy in my classes!

For this sale, I get credit for ANY class you want to sign up for, not just my classes. I get credit if you use my Craftsy link which is right here:

Click here to browse all of the Craftsy classes for this amazing sale!

Thanks if you use the link! Thanks if you are coming to see me at WEBS! And most importantly, thanks in general for visiting my blog, subscribing and for coming out to see me wherever I might be!

I'll be back with more sweater talk next!
xo ~ susan
p.s. Right after WEBS I'll be teaching and speaking in Chicago at Vogue Knitting Live! Click here to register and find out more!! I'd love to see you in Chicago, too.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oldies but Goodies Video #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
Get ready to laugh as I take a trip down memory lane by trying on some of my oldest sweaters in this 5 minute video. If you can't see the video on the email update click right here to watch!

Some of these gems are over 25 years old at this point. I carefully selected the music by Natalie Merchant, Kind and Generous in particular, because I truly feel gratitude toward all of the sweater knitting experience that went into each of the garments. I learned so much during the time I knit these sweaters. No matter how dated and goofy they look now each one served a purpose and helped me improve as a knitter. Even now as I look back at the enormous amount of knitting that went into the oversized, gigantic look of this era, I remember them fondly even though I would never wear any of them today.

The most striking difference to today's sweater designs is how enormously WIDE the sweater style was and not even that long ago really. Some of the sweaters were like knitting two sweaters in one that you would make today. The sheer amount of fabric is somewhat amazing! I think the size really helped me get faster and better.

All of the sweaters in the video were seamed and knit flat in pieces (except the poncho, of course).

Here's a quick run-down on the 13 sweaters from what I can remember and in the same order as the video:

1. Fruit and Leaves sweater by Susan Duckworth: That is not the real name of the pattern. This sweater was knit using some unidentified Italian wool for the background and embroidery wool for the fruit and leaves. I purchased the wool at The Knitting Tree. The fruit was knit in using intarsia. I knit this sweater right after I got married 25 years ago and in my first year of teaching middle school. I brought it to school with me everyday and very occasionally I would get a few minutes at lunch to knit on it. I remember I had to learn a specific crochet edging for the collar. The fruit was supposed to cover the entire sweater front, back and sleeves. I got very burned out as you can see and put it only on the front but I think it's hilarious that I put one bunch of grapes on the center back. Why?

2. Rowan Magazine Flower sweater: I made this in Tahki Cotton Classic purchased from a long gone shop in Madison called Yarn It All. The owner suggested the Cotton Classic because of the color selection. This sweater is all worked in intarsia and I also had to learn a crochet border for this edging. The inside of the sweater is so messy. I had no idea what I was doing.

3. Rowan Denim People sweater: I was so crazy for everything Rowan and especially the denim yarn. I just loved this yarn so much. As you'll see in the video, I bound off the neck way too tight and could barely get it over my head without leaving a mark.

4. Donegal Tweed Acorn Sweater: I have no idea what the origin of this cardigan is or where I got the acorn buttons. This one is very wide and short and the color selection is off somehow. I think I duplicate stitched on the acorns and the button band is sewn closed I think so I didn't have to make buttonholes. The entire thing is pretty horrible.

5. Rowan Summer Tweed Collection - light blue with leather-laced front. Super cropped but a little more fitted than some of the others. I loved that Summer Tweed yarn a lot!

6. Gigantic Cabled Rowan Double-Knit Wool ~ This huge sweater took me forever to finish and the pattern is from a Rowan collection. I learned how to cable on this one. The yarn was held doubled throughout and I remember that the yarn would make my hands itch while I was knitting it. I cut the fingers off of some cheap little stretchy gloves to wear while I worked on it. The funny thing is after I washed it it didn't make me itch any longer. I still am known to throw this one on for a freezing cold winter day. It is like wearing an enormous wool blanket as you can imagine.

7. Gigantic Red Snowflake Intarsia Sweater: This sweater is simply hilarious. It is made out of Lopi yarn purchase so many years ago, decades ago, at the Wisconsin Craft Market when they had one tiny aisle of yarn in the back. I think I used the same Rowan pattern as the cabled sweater but included a snowflake chart from another sweater (how clever of me!).  This one never got much wear and for good reason. It's pretty ridiculous.

8. Cream Rowan Big Wool Poncho: There was a time when Rowan Big Wool also came in a version where fuzzy wool bits were included. The pattern is Rowan, too. Do you notice the trend of the turtle neck? A lot of my sweaters used to have turtle necks. I don't mind a turtle neck to this day but not usually in my sweaters.

9. Flag Sweater: Another Tahki Cotton Classic knit for which I can't remember the pattern information. I did used to wear this one. For this past 4th of July my son wore this all night at our family celebration. It was pretty funny and I enjoyed that.

10. Oh Houndstooth!! This is a Vogue Knitting pattern from one of the old magazines. I LOVED this sweater so much after I knit it. I learned chart reading and colorwork here. I was in graduate school working as a P.A. (program assistant) for the School of Education at the UW- Madison in the late 1980s. I remember clear as day wearing this to work along with the matching pencil skirt I knit as well. Yes, I said handknit matching houndstooth pencil skirt.  And yes, I did wear them both together at the same time...... and I don't have the skirt any longer, not sure what happened to it. I wish I still had it. The yarn is unknown but I remember that it had a chain construction and it is a surprisingly light weight garment.

11. Orange Rowan Cork Sweater with leather ties: Clearly Rowan enjoyed the leather tied Henley style sweater design for awhile. Not much to say about this one. It's really not too bad.

12. Noro Kureyon Ribbed Turtle Neck: Not much to say about this one either. This was very fitted, a little cropped and a pretty simple style. It's probably 8 to 10 years old at this point.

13. Colinette Point 5 Ribbed Turtle Neck Sweater: This is a pattern from Interweave from the early 2000s and the yarn is a thick and thin wool. I remember that the yarn was very expensive and I bought it with a discount from the yarn shop where I was working. It is again a little too short but other than that it's not too bad.

Well, there you have it! 13 Oldies from the sweater chest. I should somehow use them otherwise, get rid of them, store them elsewhere, etc. You can see that even after removing the 10 Favorites and 13 Oldies from the chest that it is still quite full.

There are many more handknits still sitting in the chest. It would be nice to have room in the sweater chest for new sweaters to come and that's my plan.

Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls and Leslie from The Knit Girllls and I chatted last week about #projectsweaterchest and we have some fun plans coming up. We are hoping to get a sweater knitting movement going where we all knit sweaters together and share and spread the joy! I hope you'll consider joining in. There isn't going to be a short timeline, in fact it is going to be quite a long time frame so there isn't any pressure. More to come on that soon.

I'll be back soon with more of the Top 10 Favorite sweater patterns.

If you want to check out the 5 minute video of me trying on my favorite current Top 10 Sweaters click right here!

xo ~ susan

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#projectsweaterchest Favorite Sweater #3 Owls

Hi, Knitters,

All of the photos are taken from my own older posts about today's sweater.

Today is sweater favorite #3 for #projectsweaterchest! If you are just now joining me, I am cleaning out and organizing and hopefully adding to my big cedar chest where I keep all of my handknit sweaters. I have selected my top 10 current favorites. 

Now on to today's sweater! 

Needles: US 10.75 (Which I don't remember owning but I wrote in past posts that I used this size.)

I originally knit this as a pullover sweater. I knit Owls one size larger than I normally select. I made a 38-inch size when I usually select around a 36-inch size. Even with the up sizing this sweater was way too fitted for my liking. I had the correct gauge and was using the called-for yarn that the pattern suggests. 

If you look at the project page you will see in the photos that this is a very fitted bulky-weight sweater. I truly felt like a sausage when I put it on even after blocking. I was pretty disappointed.

The buttons for eyes ended up being only on one owl in the front and off to the side at first and then I moved the eye buttons to the back later. These are two vintage buttons a friend gave me from her mother's collection so they are very special buttons to me.

As you can see above, the waist shaping is all done at the back and it is a pretty severe waist shaping. 

If you choose to knit the Owls sweater you may want to consider both the size and the waist shaping. I have to say that I really don't like tight clothes so I may be more sensitive than others on the fit issue.

Well, this sweater was originally a clunker to me because it was so tight. I kept it in pullover form for a short while and never wore it or had any urge to wear it. I decided that the only chance the sweater had was if I steeked it down the front to make a cardigan. 

The decision was made without much thought, either the sweater sits unworn or I change it. I had no worries or hesitation about the steeking. I found the center front and since I hadn't planned on steeking I had to go right through the center of an owl. I wasn't sure how this was going to look in the end.

I used my sewing machine to zig zag stitch on either side of the center line before cutting. It was a very smooth and simple steeking process.

Here is the newly steeked cardigan without the button bands. 

It worked out so well! The center owl that was cut in half even looked fine and kind of disappeared after the button bands were added.

I actually had some leftover yarn to use for the button bands so that wasn't a problem. I quickly picked the edges up and knit the button bands. I planned out the buttonholes to fit 4 oval-shaped red buttons that I had in my stash. Red and gray go so well together.

Look how neat and tidy this steek turned out. It's perfection. The changing of this cardigan from a pullover to a cardigan took about a morning's worth of work. It was so worth it.

Here is the finished Owls cardigan. It is now one of my favorite handknit cardigans. If you prefer you could add buttons all the way down. The button bands gave the sweater a little more width and wiggle room on top and then by leaving it open at the bottom the fit is now perfect.

Here is the back view of Owls by Kate Davies. You can see that I moved the eye buttons to one owl in the back. I think it is so sweet looking.

I love the simple clearly written pattern. It is knit from the bottom-up, seamlessly, using an Elizabeth Zimmermann like formula with 3 decrease rounds at the top. The owl cable is so simple. This would be a really great first sweater pattern and first cable pattern. Plus it is knit on large needles with bulky yarn so it goes super fast. 

The Owls sweater also comes in a kid-sizes and is called Owlet. Owlet would be a really great first sweater because it is so tiny. I have the Owlet pattern in my library and want to knit a few up to have as baby gifts in the future.

Kate Davies is one of my favorite designers. She does loads of color work, hats, blankets, sweaters, cardigans.... she is all-around a pretty amazing designer.

I'm off to The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling at the end of the week. I can't wait to teach at this retreat for the second time. It will be a treat. I'll see you on the flip side!

Take care and let me know if you are going to knit an Owls or an Owlet or if you already have knit an Owls sweater. I'd love to hear what you think of the design and how your version fits. At this point there are over 7,500 finished Owls sweaters in Ravelry so I know some of you have probably already knit one.

xo ~ susan

Friday, September 05, 2014

#projectsweaterchest Top 10 Sweater Video!

Hi, Knitters,
I couldn't resist making a fun video beside my sweater chest trying on my Top 10 Favorite Sweaters for you with my buddy Cat Stevens singing away. I hope you like it!

I'm still going to write about the other 8 sweaters and provide links in the next upcoming posts. I did a video trying on a bunch of oldies but not so goodies, too. I'll work on editing that and post at a later date. It's pretty funny.

If you are an email subscriber please click here to see the video directly on YouTube!

Have a super weekend. I'll be back with more #projectsweaterchest very soon.

xo ~ susan

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Old Favorites #1 and #2 for #projectsweaterchest

Hi, Knitters,
The photos in this post are from old blog posts of mine from about 4 years ago.

I had a really interesting email from Jeanette Huisinga, the owner of The Yarn Studio in Casey, Illinois. She raised some good points that I think are probably true for a lot of yarn shop owners. Jeanette sees that the majority of her customers are most comfortable knitting accessories, not sweaters. She says that many of her yarn reps say the same thing. In reference to my post about my Project Sweater Chest or #projectsweaterchest and my favorite handknit sweaters, Jeanette asked that I share my favorite sweaters, tried and true designs, in hopes of getting more people knitting sweaters. 

I think that's a great idea so thanks for writing with the suggestion, Jeanette. I went through my sweater chest yesterday, which is a large cedar chest, and pulled out the sweaters that I wear day in day out. It turns out that I have 10 favorite handknit sweaters right now. My plan is to take the next five blog posts and share two favorite sweaters in each of these posts. I am using the term sweater to also refer to cardigans.

So here it goes!  The 10 sweaters I list are not in any particular order.

Starting with two cardigans by Melissa LaBarre that I knit in 2010...... 

Favorite handknit sweater #1:

Yarn: Peace Fleece in the Grass Roots colorway

Needles: US size 7

I love the turquoise buttons I chose because the tweed flecks in the rustic yarn are the exact same turquoise color. It's a good match. I can't remember where I got these buttons.

I laughed when I found this old photo of the sweater in progress. I am always telling my students to clean-up as you go when knitting their projects so that when the knitting is done there isn't much left to do. I actually do what I say! I love that I had the buttons sewn on before I even started the sleeves, that's so me.

The cardigan is knit seamlessly from the top town with a yoke-raglan combination. The design is supposed to be a much more fitted cardigan but my version has positive ease and it is extremely comfortable. I may have left out any waist shaping if there is some in the pattern.

I wear this cardigan all of the time in the cold fall and winter months. I'm excited to wear it again during the colder months ahead. It is incredibly cozy and the Peace Fleece makes me feel comfortable and warm. I love this yarn.

The Garter Yoke Cardi is a very good beginner sweater. The pattern is clear and easy to follow. The concepts are basic and the end result is a very wearable and casual cardigan. The look of this cardigan can be changed a lot by the choice of yarn and the fit. A double thumbs up from me!

Favorite handknit sweater #2:

Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK in the Burnished colorway

Buttons: from Purlsoho

Needles: US size 6 and 7

I made this cardigan in 2010. I went on a book tour visit to Nina, a yarn shop in Chicago, and I wanted to purchase a yarn to remember the fantastic event at the shop. It was a great day. I was on the WGN midday show, my husband was with me, and then Nina's was a full-house for the signing. The yarn choices at Nina's are fantastic. I stumbled on the Mad Tosh DK and was intrigued by the Burnished colorway. It looks different in different lighting. The yarn literally changes colors. Sometimes it looks more on the brownish rusty side and sometimes it looks a brilliant green.  

I know that many people have gone away from the button-at-the-top only cardigans but I still LOVE them. The thing is that so often I don't button the lower half of my cardigan buttons anyway. I think the original pattern only calls for 3 buttons so I added a fourth button which makes it a little more secure. I love that the buttons are tiny.

If you don't prefer the buttons at the top you could easily add more buttonholes on the button band. That would be simple to modify.

The other thing to note is that this cardigan doesn't have short rows at the neckline and it has a wider neck opening. I know Paula of the Knitting Pipeline (and my favorite person to knit everything she knits), didn't like the fit of her Tea Leaves because she felt like the neckline was falling off of her shoulders. Mine isn't like this as it sits very nicely on my shoulders. Who knows why? Maybe the gauge was different or the sizing selected, it could be for many reasons, just be sure to consider the style of the neckline if you are planning on knitting this one.

The Tea Leaves Cardigan is a good first cardigan for people to try but remember that all of the ruching or those ruffly sections on the yoke have a doubled stitch count. The rows get very, very long in this section. More practice, right?  

I wear this cardigan day in and day out in the colder months. I throw it on with skirts and jeans. It goes with everything. It is incredibly comfortable and not too heavy. Since it is superwash wool, I have washed and dried it in the machine and it comes out as good as new. Tea Leaves is a definite winner!

Okay, so we have #1 and #2: 

I will make a compiled list in one place to refer to at the end of #10. I will also share some of my clunkers from the past which I think will make you giggle a bit. Lastly, I am going to share my future sweater knitting plans and the list is looooooooong and by that I mean super long.

More fun to come on the sweater knitting front! Have you started any sweaters? The Knitmore Girls Jasmin and GiGi, a favorite podcast of mine, have joined me or better yet we have joined together on the quest to improve our sweater chests. If you are on Instagram please post sweater photos with the tag #projectsweaterchest so there is an easy way for all of us to look at what others are working on. Jasmin has already talked it up on her podcast. Be sure to check out the amazing Knitmore Girls! 

And you don't need a sweater chest to participate. It could be a drawer, a bin, a closet shelf..... anything.

I hope you'll join in.
xo ~ susan